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A folktale is a tale passed down from one generation to another orally. Folktales are generally about ordinary folks and struggles between good and evil deeds. Folktales are the basis for all literature existing on the earth. Back in the old days when there existed no parchments, papyrus and any writing material, tales existed as the only means of transferring events and discoveries through the new generations(The Monkey’s Heart: Folktales of Type 91). Telling tales became folklores, and it was majorly through oral method forming a significant form of entertainment. The paper presents a detailed explanation of the relevance of folktales giving focus on the monkey heart and the monkey and the crocodile narratives.
Folktales play a crucial role in transferring knowledge and personality development. They have the power to impact on an individual’s perception, behavior, and attitude. Folktales also influence many essential factors in society and individual’s well-being. They act as educational devices for reinforcing morals as well as values and building intelligence and Smartness. From the story, the monkey is portrayed to be a smart creature by cunningly convincing the crocodile into believing that the heart stays on the top of the tree(TrackStar :). It is a relevant lesson teaching us that in times of tempting and risky situations, scheming of escape strategies should be the priority even if one has to think outside the box.
Folktales enable people to get away from traps that have been imposed on them by society by weighing the various options and tricks. From the tale of the monkey and the crocodile, the monkey escapes from the crocodile’s trap by deceiving him that his heart stays in the tree(The Monkey’s Heart: Folktales of Type 91). The smartness of the monkey gives a picture of the importance of being critical thinkers in making quick decisions in a time of danger to escape from our predators.
The folktales teach morals and values, impacting on the individual’s behavior. Contentment is a significant value, and from the tales, the monkey’s character demonstrates that it is vital to be contented with the little you have and forego other peoples’ ownership and other fancy things one cannot afford, as it may risk one’s life. From the story ‘the monkey’s heart,’ after leaping back to the fig tree, the monkey utters a stanza to crocodile telling him he is not interested in the juicy jackfruits, rose apples and mangoes across the water as he is fulfilled with what he gets from the fig(The Monkey’s Heart: Folktales of Type 91). The decision is a wise one as he would have lost his life if he opted to follow his friend to the other side of the waters.
After establishing a good friendship with the monkey in the tale, the crocodile schemes with his wife to feast on the monkey’s heart. The bond had first been a good one with the monkey constantly gifting his friend with juicy fruits, but because of the crocodile’s wife bad intentions of feasting on the monkey’s heart, their relationship gets spoilt. Were it not for the crocodile’s unappreciative nature, the friendship would not have collapsed, and they would have enjoyed more of the juicy fruits for many days (TrackStar :). The monkey becomes annoyed with the crocodile’s unkindness and refers to him as a disloyal friend who is only concerned about his wife’s interest. The tale inculcates the importance of being careful not allow third parties to ruin our friendships like the crocodile. Also, kindness is a virtue that should be reciprocated to those who show it to us.
Folktales have remained to be an essential component of oral traditions, and their impacts have significantly shaped since the old days. Folktales have also become a method of applying societal pressure and also exerting social control, contributing mainly to upholding of a society’s expectations and history.
The Monkey’s Heart: Folktales of Type 91. https://www.pitt.edu/~dash/type0091.html. Accessed 12 Dec. 2018.
http://trackstar.4teachers.org/trackstar/ts/viewTrackMembersFramesMember.do;jsessionid=697CEFD1904192BE4D46776B2E64E693?key=org.altec.trackstar.om.TrackMember%3Btrack_member_id%5B1367619%5D. Accessed 12 Dec. 2018.
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